Exposure Therapy for Anxiety

Second Edition
Principles and Practice

Jonathan S. Abramowitz, Brett J. Deacon, and Stephen P. H. Whiteside

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May 15, 2019
ISBN 9781462539666
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Now revised and expanded to include cutting-edge acceptance-based techniques and a new focus on inhibitory learning, this is the leading guide to therapeutic exposure, a crucial element of evidence-based psychological treatments for anxiety. The book helps the clinician gain skills and confidence for implementing exposure successfully and tailoring interventions to each client's needs, regardless of diagnosis. The theoretical and empirical bases of exposure are reviewed and specialized assessment and treatment planning techniques described. User-friendly features include illustrative case examples, sample treatment plans, ideas for exercises targeting specific types of fears, and reproducible handouts and forms that can be downloaded and printed in a convenient 8½" x 11" size.

New to This Edition

“An excellent compendium of information on the nature and utilization of exposure therapy in the treatment of anxiety disorders. The book is well written and thoughtfully organized, making it a worthy resource for practicing clinicians and a valuable guide for the training of health care professionals in the application of cognitive-behavioral interventions.”

PsycCRITIQUES (on the first edition)


“A comprehensive manual for clinicians detailing the application of exposure therapy in the treatment of a broad range of anxiety problems....The book serves not only as an evidence-based account of the model and rationale behind exposure therapy, but also as an aid to individualizing treatment according to patient nuances, whether overt or subtle....An invaluable source of reference for any clinician, regardless of experience level.”

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (on the first edition)


“This second edition remains the definitive book on exposure therapy for anxiety-related problems. It is comprehensive, clearly written, practical, and fully updated to reflect contemporary research and theory on exposure-based treatments. This book is an invaluable resource for novice and expert therapists alike, and it should be required reading for any student training in cognitive-behavioral therapy.”

—Martin M. Antony, PhD, ABPP, Department of Psychology, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada


“An outstanding volume for providers, students, and researchers who want to understand not only what to do when conducting exposure therapy, but also how to do it, and why it works. The second edition integrates the latest research on the learning processes that are critical to making exposures work, and provides clear guidance on how to use the research findings to directly improve clinical practice. Clients treated by providers who have read this book should be in good hands!”

—Bethany A. Teachman, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia


“Exposure has served as the treatment of choice for anxiety disorders for decades, despite many new therapies trying to take its mantle. Yet too many clinical practitioners either avoid using exposure or implement it suboptimally. Already the go-to resource on exposure therapy, this second edition elegantly balances the latest science and art of delivering this most effective therapy in the most effective manner.”

—Peter J. Norton, PhD, School of Psychological Sciences, Monash University, Australia


“The authors do an excellent job of dispelling therapists' common fears about implementing exposure therapy. They review the evidence base for the approach and separate facts from myths. Clinicians treating trauma may have concerns about retraumatizing patients; instead of dismissing these concerns, the authors validate them and provide solutions. I recommend this book as a 'must read' for clinicians at all levels of practice.”

—Johanna Kaplan, PhD, Director, Washington Anxiety Center of Capitol Hill, Washington, DC


“The authors do a splendid job of presenting the core clinical features that cut across all anxiety and trauma-related disorders. In so doing, they provide the reader a helpful heuristic for assisting in case formulation and treatment planning. Coverage of safety behaviors and their role in maintaining and exacerbating anxiety is particularly important, given that many clinicians still instruct anxiety patients to utilize safety behaviors to cope with their anxiety. I will assign this book as a required reading for my practicum course in evidence-based treatments.”

—Michael J. Telch, PhD, Professor of Psychology and Founding Director, Laboratory for the Study of Anxiety Disorders, The University of Texas at Austin

Table of Contents

I. The Fundamentals of Exposure Therapy

1. Overview and History of Exposure Therapy for Anxiety

2. How Well Does Exposure Therapy Work?

3. The Nature and Treatment of Clinical Anxiety

4. Treatment Planning I: Functional Assessment

5. Treatment Planning II: Treatment Engagement and Exposure List Development

6. Implementing Exposure Therapy: An Overview

II. Implementing Exposure Therapy for Specific Types of Fears

7. Animal-Related Fears

8. Environmental Fears

9. Social Situations

10. Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts

11. Bodily Cues and Health Concerns

12. Contamination

13. Trauma-Focused Fear

14. Blood-, Injection-, and Injury-Related Stimuli

15. Incompleteness, Asymmetry, and Not-Just-Right Feelings

III. Special Considerations in the Use of Exposure Techniques

16. Exposure Therapy with Complex Cases

17. Exposure Therapy with Children

18. Involving Significant Others in Treatment

19. Combining Exposure Therapy with Medication

20. Maintaining Improvement after Treatment

21. Using Technology to Implement Exposure Therapy

22. Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with Exposure

23. A Risk–Benefit Analysis of Exposure Therapy


About the Authors

Jonathan S. Abramowitz, PhD, ABPP, is Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Research Professor of Psychiatry, and Director of the Anxiety and Stress Disorders Clinic at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Abramowitz conducts research on anxiety disorders and has published over 250 articles, book chapters, and books. He serves as Editor of the Journal of Obsessive–Compulsive and Related Disorders and is on the editorial boards of several other scientific journals. He is past president of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies and serves on the scientific and clinical advisory board of the International OCD Foundation. Dr. Abramowitz is a recipient of the Outstanding Contributions to Research Award from the Mayo Clinic Department of Psychiatry and Psychology and the David Shakow Early Career Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Clinical Psychology from Division 12 of the American Psychological Association. His books include Getting Over OCD, Second Edition, and The Stress Less Workbook (for general readers) and Exposure Therapy for Anxiety, Second Edition (for mental health professionals).

Brett J. Deacon, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Wollongong, Australia, and Conjoint Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales. He has published approximately 100 research articles and book chapters, served as Editor of The Behavior Therapistand Associate Editor of the Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, and is an editorial board member of numerous scientific journals. Dr. Deacon’s research examines the dissemination, optimal delivery, and acceptability of exposure therapy for anxiety. He is the recipient of numerous teaching, research, and student mentorship awards from the University of Wyoming, as well as the Golden Anniversary Alumni Award from Northern Illinois University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Dr. Deacon presents workshops around the world on exposure therapy.

Stephen P. H. Whiteside, PhD, ABPP, is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Pediatric Anxiety Disorders Program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. His research focuses on improving access to evidence-based care for pediatric anxiety disorders and obsessive–compulsive disorder through the development of effective and efficient treatments facilitated by technology. Dr. Whiteside serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Anxiety Disorders and on the Education and Training Committee of the Minnesota Psychological Association. He has published over 60 scientific articles and is the codeveloper of the Mayo Clinic Anxiety Coach, a smartphone app that aids in the delivery of exposure.

Audience

Clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers, counselors, and psychiatric nurses.

Course Use

May serve as a supplemental text in graduate-level courses.
Previous editions published by Guilford:

First Edition, © 2011
ISBN: 9781462509690
New to this edition: